In this short story, a kind of coda to the earlier novels Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary, Faulkner illuminates and complicates his representation of the Strother family. Six of them are mentioned by name: Simon, Elnora, Caspey, Isom, Joby, and Saddie. These last two, both like Isom children of Elnora, are new additions to the family tree. The most significant addition, however, is the information that Elnora and Bayard Sartoris are siblings: after describing her as a "mulatto" in Flags, Faulkner here reveals that her white father is John Sartoris - making Elnora herself and her children members of both families. The story's narrator carefully refers to Simon now as "Elnora's mother's husband" (727), but that is the only reference to "Elnora's mother"; in Flags Simon is married to Euphrony, so it can be presumed that she is the woman with whom Sartoris had sex, but that is a presumption. Another source of confusion is the way Caspey is now referred to as "Elnora's husband"; in the earlier Flags he is Elnora's brother. One of Elnora's children - Joby - has moved away (to Memphis), and Caspey is "in the penitentiary for stealing," but the other living members of the Strothers family all remain on the Sartoris plantation, where they work for the white family as servants. One of the story's longest scenes is Elnora's conversation with Saddie and Isom, but her subject is the "quality" of the family they serve, which she tells Isom is "something you don't know nothing about" (732).

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"There Was a Queen"
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Strothers in There Was a Queen
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Affiliated Characters

Caspey - "There Was a Queen"
Colonel John Sartoris - "There Was a Queen"
Elnora - "There Was a Queen"
Isom - "There Was a Queen"
Joby - "There Was a Queen"
Saddie - "There Was a Queen"
Simon Strother - "There Was a Queen"
Unnamed Mother of Elnora - "There Was a Queen"